Former Surgeon General Touts Disease Prevention
"Several candidates are talking about the need for a national revolution in health," but "the only way to improve America's health care system is to focus on disease prevention," former Surgeon General Richard Carmona writes in an Arizona Daily Star opinion piece.
"We've successfully built a system that's based on treating illness after it occurs rather than promoting health and wellness," Carmona writes.
According to Carmona, chronic disease prevention should become the "next great battle" for the U.S., "a nation that prides itself on its ingenuity and with a history of finding ways to improve our quality of life." Chronic diseases, which affect at least 133 million U.S. residents and account for about $1.5 billion of the $2 billion spent annually on health care, in large part are "preventable with healthy diet, regular physical activity, routine medical checkups," early diagnosis and treatment, and a focus on "evidence-based public policy," Carmona writes.
He adds that the "best answers don't necessarily require new, expensive programs or life-altering changes."
Carmona writes that voters should require presidential candidates to "support policies that will ... provide incentives to prevent, diagnose and treat chronic disease," adding that "the health of our country is depending on it" (Carmona, Arizona Daily Star, 8/22).